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Trailing late, Champlin Park rallies to defeat Totino-Grace

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 10/11/19, 10:30PM CDT


Two long receptions by Brock Johnson -- one for a touchdown, one to set up the winning score -- helped the Rebels to a 12-7 victory.

Champlin Park wide receiver Brock Johnson (3) caught a pass from quarterback Jaice Miller and ran for a touchdown in the first half. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

After pulling out back-to-back close victories over quality teams, the Champlin Park Rebels have something to say.

“We think we should be in the conversation of the best teams in the state,” quarterback Jaice Miller said.

After outlasting Totino-Grace 12-7 on Friday, one week after a three-point victory at Rosemount, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

“We’ve proved that we can play with anybody,” Champlin Park coach Nick Keenan said.

The Rebels (6-1) parlayed two long passes from Miller to wide receiver Brock Johnson into just enough offense to back a defense that stood up to Totino-Grace’s relentless rushing attack. The Rebels bent under the Eagles pressure, but stood firm when they needed to, stopping their opponent on downs twice deep in their own territory in the second half.

“We were without our leading tackler [linebacker Obi Evuleocha], who was injured last week, so that cost us a little bit with their running game, but these kids pushed through adversity,” Keenan said. “I’m just so happy for them.”

With Totino-Grace (5-2) stacking the defense to shut down Champlin Park running back Shawn Shipman, the Rebels took to the air for the game’s first touchdown.

First report

Two long receptions by Brock Johnson and a bend-but-don’t break defense proved to be enough for host Champlin Park to upend Totino-Grace 12-7 on Friday.

Johnson, a senior wide receiver, caught a 64-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter that staked the Rebels to a 6-0 lead.

With the Rebels trailing 7-6 in late in the fourth quarter, quarterback Jaice Miller found Johnson for a 42-yard gain to the Totino-Grace 1-yard line. Miller scored from 2 yards out three plays later for the game-winning touchdown.

Champlin Park improved to 6-1 while Totino-Grace had a 5-game winning streak ended and fell to 5-2.

Check back later for more on the game.

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